Dear All, 

Thanks to everyone who has already RSVP'd.  A clear consensus formed and so I think we should set the time and let everyone figure out travel plans as best they can.

A couple of state center coordinators are not able to make it (NV, FL, maybe TN? Lacey your response was blank.), and a couple are still working out who, if anyone, might be coming to the festival (CT), but of those who have replied in the affirmative, everyone chose either "anytime" or the late afternoon slot, 3 to 6 p.m..  (or until the beginning of the reception is more accurate, I think).  (One person will have to join the meeting in progress around 4 p.m.)

We now need to plan the meeting content ... 

I am pasting in here the notes from our Friday a.m. meeting at LOC in May.  After you review, will you send to me privately your ideas for the agenda for 8/29 ([log in to unmask]).  Next Friday, 6/20/14, I will send out a compiled list of agenda ideas and we can either do round robin emails or I can schedule a conference call from Simmons GSLIS, I think, for us to hammer out what we want to do.  

NOTE:  The Center for the Book staff will be up to their ears with NBF preparations ... so this is going to have to be a state-center driven meeting and we'll have to take careful notes for CFB/LOC as well as for the state centers which could not attend. 



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2 May 2014

To: State Centers for the Book

Fr: Sharon Shaloo

Re: Notes from Digital Maps Meeting, Library of Congress

--- ignore this prefatory note now

I believe I have captured most of the notes from our one-hour discussion about literary maps from Friday and reproduce them below.  On or about June 15th, I’ll create documents for each of the central questions and we and we can start to add our comments and align ourselves with the tasks/issues we feel most connected with.  At that point, we may wish to move away from Google Drive to a project management tool.  My husband swears by Asana.  Have any of you used it or another (free!) tool you recommend?

As you review, please add, comment, suggest, refine, etc., to make this as complete and accurate a document as can be.  Please send me your comments and I’ll add them in BLUE prefaced by your initials and put the new document up as comments are added.  Thanks!

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The meeting was well attended by Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (John Cole, Anne Boni, Guy Lamolinara, Jillian Adams), state center representatives with online mapping experience (PA, NC, SC, DC, MT, etc.), and many others who are keen to participate in a national initiative based on their participation in or review of the December virtual meeting we held on the topic in December.  We were joined by Dr. Brenda Barr, Director of National Alliances for National Geographic.

After some overview discussion of what we think, at first pass, this map might consist in, Dr. Barr presented resources and tools from National Geographic that we might incorporate into a grant-funded initiative.  You can browse these resources at the following sites:

A source of local partnership (and also a model for the way an interactive map interface might portal the user into state-specific information/mapping projects is here:

Throughout our conversation, Dr. Barr made useful suggestions and offered substantial help. We were grateful that she accepted John Cole’s invitation to participate in the meeting.

During the discussion we recognized that there were key issues that we would need to resolve in advance of a grant-writing endeavor. And, too, that there were key issues we could write a grant to help us accomplish.  The consensus of the group was that our timeline needs to be pushed out, that we need to work toward submitting a large grant application in 2015 for a project to be undertaken beginning in 2016.  I have added the timeline issue, however, to the questions to be commented upon by June 30th as I wonder if we might find a smaller source of funding which could help us bring in consultants/scholars to a meeting in DC in August (on the day before National Book Festival) which could help us move our thinking into next-generation mapping strategies before we go too far down the grant writing road.

Key Questions to Resolve in Advance of Grant Writing

I.  Audience for the Literary Map

All of us agreed that we need to have a clear understanding of who will use the map and to what end.  Some of us were concerned that local and regional stories would be lost in the focus on a national story while others of us felt we could handle levels of specificity through search functions, etc.

SS Note: On reflection, I believe I saw a fundamental difference in the way we are approaching the project that I think we should trick out.  At the risk of oversimplifying, when we were thinking about audience, some of us seemed to be asking, “Who will come to this map and what will they learn?” Others seemed to be asking, “Who will come to this map and what information will they be seeking?”  That’s a very interesting difference in operating assumptions … and I think we should address this head on, because it’s my sense that the first question leads us to NEH while the second might be better suited to an IMLS application.  

II.  Content of the Project  

We had a lot of questions here and one general assumption.  

Operating Assumption:  We are proposing to create a curated experience and not provide the structure for a participatory mapping activity such as “DC by the Book”  because we feel that community participation activities need to be offered at a local level to be managed and represented effectively.

Questions we raised:  

III.  Logistics and Tools

SS Note:  On reflection, considering issues of ongoing commitment by a university partner to supporting and updating the project, I wonder if could develop our pitch as if it were the equivalent of committing to the production of a scholarly edition of an author’s works?  If we develop a work plan that will provide internships to university students linked to relevant programs, that may be enough incentive over and above the administrative percentage from the grant to make this an attractive venture.  

Other Partners/Collaborators

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Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director
Massachusetts Center for the Book
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